(HockeyStL) -- He is not going to put up massive scoring numbers like Sidney Crosby, but St. Louis Blues forward David Backes is arguably the best all-around team captain in the NHL.
Backes has a team-leading ten goals and 94 hits in 30 games played this season while often playing against the opponent’s top line.
He is also one of three NHL players (Dustin Brown, Stephane Robidas) to have 200-plus hits in each of the last four seasons and is one of two players (Ryan Callahan) in the league to have 90+ hits and 10+ goals this season.
An often-unnoticed example of his play this year occurred in the first period against the New York Rangers. Following a face-off in the Blues zone as a result of an icing call, and on an extended shift, Backes carried the puck deep into the Rangers zone so the tired line would finally be able to get off.
As the lines changed, Backes was able to keep the puck in the Rangers zone until the fresh Blues players joined him so he could sub off. The extra work to keep the puck deep in the Rangers zone during a line-switch was enough to eventually net the Blues a goal by Patrik Berglund. Backes did not get an assist on the play, but there is no doubt that the goal would have never happened without Backes’ effort.
Backes’ effort showed in each of his team-leading 27 shifts against the Rangers in a 4-1 win and he was named the game’s number one star despite not registering a point in the game. And that says a lot.
by Scott Bierman, HockeyStL
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